Randall Stross, New York Times, July 3, 2005:

"Podcast" is an ill-chosen portmanteau that manages to be a double misnomer. A podcast does not originate from an iPod. And it is not a broadcast sent out at a particular time for all who happen to receive it.

Steven Chen, China Daily, Sept. 8, 2005:

The term podcast, a portmanteau of two words, broadcasting and iPod, Apple Computer's now ubiquitous music player is something of a misnomer, since such files do not need either an iPod or a portable MP3 player to be played ...

Wikipedia's podcasting entry, Nov. 30, 2005:

"Podcasting" is a portmanteau that combines the words "iPod" and "broadcasting." The term is a misnomer since neither podcasting nor listening to podcasts requires an iPod or any portable player, and no broadcasting is required.

Chris Noon, Forbes.Com article, Dec. 7, 2005:

A "podcast" is at once a portmanteau; derived from the words "broadcasting" and "iPod", and a misnomer; neither podcasting nor podcast listening requires an iPod, and no broadcasting is really required. Even so, portmanteaux and misnomers are not precluded from appearing in the dictionary; hence the word's selection as the Word of the Year by the New Oxford American Dictionary.

The next word of the year should be originality.

-- Rogers Cadenhead


"You keep saying that word. I do not think it means what you think it means."


Or, perhaps, the next word of the year should be "portmanteau."


Don't knock Port Manteau. We used to summer there :)

To be optimistic, podcasting has only one definition: so singular that everyone who speaks of it, thinks of it in the same way. This is how do I define podcasts: "A "podcast" is at once a portmanteau; derived from the words "broadcasting" and "iPod", and a misnomer; neither podcasting nor podcast listening requires an iPod, and no broadcasting is really required"

Besides, it could be worse. RSS has been out for 6 yrs.+ and there is still a debate as to what "RSS" means.

BTW, did you ever notice that iPod upside down is pod! Things you notice when you're staring at the improperly returned bathroom magazines.


Damn! Why didn't someone suggest "Portmanteau" last fall!


Check the history page of the Wikipedia article again, you'll find it was in there months before any of the others:



I looked at the history, and didn't find anything about portmanteaus and misnomers that preceded the New York Times article. The reference to a portmanteau showed up a couple weeks later, presumably from an editor who had seen the Times.


See the link I posted above, we had a big discussion in June/July about whether the word "portmanteau" was too pompous and/or obscure. This is from the July 17th 2005 revision:

The word podcasting began as a portmanteau, a combination of the words broadcasting and iPod. The term can be misleading since neither podcasting nor listening to podcasts requires an iPod or a portable music player. As podcasting's popularity grew in the summer of 2005, online writers including Microsoft blogger Robert Scoble, suggested reinterpreting the letters POD as an acronym for "Personal-On-Demand" instead of a reference to a specific music player[1].


Er, for some reason I can't read properly today, I thought you'd referenced the NYT article as September not July. I'll take another look and see...


Here's the culpret, User:Pigsonthewing, the day after the NYT article:



I'm late to the portmanteau party, but that's one of the few Wikipedia articles I've edited. Though I have no Wikipedia handle, I kept trying to replace 'portmanteau' with 'misnomer'. Finally I settled for being happy that people let me get it away with saying that the term was misleading because you don't need an iPod (which can barely record) and there ain't no casting involved at all.

Nice to see it here...



The "portmanteau" wars on the Wikipedia podcasting page were going on long before July... including whether the correct term was "portmanteau" or "portmanteau word," uncovering a fascinating Wikipedian-portmanteauvian subculture.

(If the link above works, it goes to a February history page.) I wouldn't be surprised if Wikipedia is where the Times got the term... I don't have a Times Stylebook around, but as a copyeditor, I'd replace the 11-letter word with "blend."


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